Perth College UHI hosts University of the Highlands and Islands research conference

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PhD students who work with the Bryden Centre were able to meet for the first time at the conference

Held over the course of three days this week, the University of the Islands and Islands annual research conference took place at Perth College UHI’s Academy of Sport and Wellbeing. More than 200 research active students and staff attended to collaborate and hear from experts.

The opening plenary speaker was Professor Lesley Yellowlees, CBE, FRSE, HonFRSC, chair of SFC RKEC, Professor of Inorganic Electrochemistry (University of Edinburgh), and first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2012–14. She gave a talk on "From there to here, and what comes next: A personal academic journey and reflections on the potential for researchers in Scottish HEI in the future".

Keynote addresses were given by Ian Brotherson, Head of Government Engagement, Innovate UK; Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education; and Professor Neil Simco, Vice-Principal Research and Impact, University of the Highlands and Islands.

Staff and students were given the opportunity to share ideas and present the research they have been undertaking. A number of delegates showcased ideas on a colourful display of posters.

Welcoming the delegates, Professor Neil Simco said: “This is our fifth biennial research conference and the first time it has been hosted by Perth College UHI. I would like to thank our hosts for all their help and enthusiastic engagement over the past year while planning the conference. This type of event and the spirit of cooperation that accompanies it - from the organising team, the hosts and the staff and students who take part - really brings out the best in our university. Furthermore, the contribution from colleagues who are attending from outwith the university, most notably Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Dr Ian Brotherston, Dr Stuart Fancey and Philip Piatkiewicz, is set to make this a truly memorable occasion.”

A number of PhD students, who are working with the Bryden Centre for advanced marine and bio-energy research, were able to meet for the first time.

The Centre is backed by £8.2million in funding from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Bryden Centre was named in tribute to the late Professor Ian Bryden, who was a leading expert in marine renewable energy, with a 30 year research career in fields associated with energy and hydrodynamics. He was also a key architect of the programme.

Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “It is wonderful to see the first of the PhD students together from the Bryden Centre, it is anticipated that their expertise will help bring about high quality research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources.”